Posted by: drew | March 24, 2006

“Signing Statements” and the Runaway Administration

Boston Globe reports that Bush is at it again with his “Signing Statements”.

When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act’s expanded police powers.

Can we please get a check on this out of control administration? Anyone? Beuller? How many times with Congress, the Judiciary, and the American people allow this president to sign laws with statements excusing him from actually following said laws? You sign a law, you follow the law. How on earth is it legal to sign a law and say you’re exempt from it at the same time?
Arlen Specter, R-PA, had it right when he said this in relation to the domestic wiretap issue:

“They want to do just as they please, for as long as they can get away with it,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think what is going on now without congressional intervention or judicial intervention is just plain wrong.”

Back to the signing statement:

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.

More below…

So he signs it and says he doesn’t have to obey it.

Past presidents occasionally used such signing statements to describe their interpretations of laws, but Bush has expanded the practice. He has also been more assertive in claiming the authority to override provisions he thinks intrude on his power, legal scholars said.

Bush’s expansive claims of the power to bypass laws have provoked increased grumbling in Congress. Members of both parties have pointed out that the Constitution gives the legislative branch the power to write the laws and the executive branch the duty to ”faithfully execute” them.

Feingold also had it right during his appearance on The Daily Show:

Feingold: I was taught that the congress makes the laws and the president is supposed to sign them and enforce them. He’s not supposed to make them up.—How many times are we going to let George Bush and Dick Cheney say you guys don’t support the troops, you’re not patriotic and let them push us around?




  1. Nice catch, I missed the Patriot Act signing statement. Its a shame that big chunks of the biased liberal media don’t notice these things.

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